Nine barracks at the Auschwitz II-Birkenau site have been spray-painted with anti-Semitic slogans denying the Holocaust.

According to Auschwitz memorial and museum the graffiti was in English and German. Police in Poland are investigating and appealed for any witnesses, including anyone with photos taken around the Gate of Death at the camp’s entrance and the wooden barracks on Tuesday morning.

There were “two references to the Old Testament, often used by anti-Semites, and denial slogans,” the statement by the museum said.

The memorial centre said the vandalism was “an outrageous attack on the symbol of one of the great tragedies in human history and an extremely painful blow to the memory of all the victims of the German Nazi Auschwitz-Birkenau camp”.

“As soon as the police have compiled all the necessary documentation, the conservators of the Auschwitz memorial will begin removing traces of vandalism from historical buildings,” it added.

The statement noted that while the security system at the 170-hectare site was “constantly being expanded”, it was funded from the museum’s budget, which had been hit during the coronavirus pandemic. Fully enclosing the site would not be possible for some time, it added.

David Mendoza-Wolfson, Vice President of the UK’s Board of Deputies of British Jews, said: “Antisemitic graffiti, including that which denies the Holocaust, is heinous at the best of times, and is absolutely beyond the pale when sprayed on the site that led to the death of over one million Jews.  We are appalled and wholeheartedly condemn this vile criminal act and hope that the perpetrators are brought to justice.”

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